Our girl and littlest in the household turned 3 yesterday. 3! 2 was such a wonderful year of growth and change.
Right now, you love all things pink, wear all the accessories, listen to stories voraciously, and swirl paint through a page for at least 10 minutes before boredom sets in. You like pre-school. You're still learning consistency when it comes to the potty but we've declared you more or less potty trained. You adore your brother. You fight back and stand up for yourself when you are prompted but overall you are happy to give into his whims. Your hugs are tight and earnest.
You surprise us everyday with your sense of humour, your warmth, your very loud and opinionated voice. You charm us with your wit. You disarm us with your affection.
You inspire me with your creativity, your gentleness, and your bravery.
On your birthday, we did all of your favourite things. You woke up to a birthday cake breakfast party. We went to Granville Island. We watched a play. We spent time together as a family. You were so exhausted, you passed out on the couch at 5pm. I was so exhausted I didn't photograph you splayed out and snoring, still wearing your birthday crown.
This is going to be a tough year for us, I'm afraid. If my experience with your brother at 3 is any indication, we're going to get serious about our regular battle of wills. I am going to react to your behaviour based on my realm of experience (38 years worth of fantasy, melodrama, bathroom humour, fiction, and gross reality), which may or may not actually reflect on you. I'm going to apologize for that now because sometimes it will appear as though I am laughing at your pain but I'm really not. It's just that your tantrums are nowhere near as... robust as your brother's, and at such moments, all I can think of is how adorable you are. Other times, I really will be parenting hard - which you are not going to like - but it's my job to be your mother: to keep you safe, to guide you towards kindness and consideration, even if it means showing you my ugly face with a warning tone, then flying you to a nearby corner (I can make a corner anywhere in the world. Remember that).
You really should know that when I am at my most angry, I would much rather be laughing with you. You should also know that I know that I am not a perfect momma. This may be my second time around parenting a 3-year old but this is my first time parenting 3-year old you. We are both on a learning curve.
You're learning the logistics and rules of what it means to grow up in your little world. I'm learning how to be a good momma and a good person - easy enough on most days, all things considered. We are both going to be testing our boundaries. Being on a learning curve means making mistakes and then choosing to do better, and get better, so we can soak in all the good things that this life has to offer.
Let's promise to work hard at living life wider than our limits. I'm going to be following your 3-year old queue by living the next moment with an open heart and laughing eyes. Let's see what we can do to get your brother and mother on board too, okay?
I hope you enjoyed your birthday celebrations - much preparation was made by your family in anticipation of delighting you on the day you made me a momma again, the day your presence completed our family.
With love, a ready hug, and a hand for you to hold for always,